On exhibit: ‘Voodoo: Ritual & Healing’ at CSUSB’s Anthropology Museum


“Voodoo: Ritual & Healing” is the latest exhibit at Cal State San Bernardino’s Anthropology Museum.

‘Voodoo: Ritual & Healing’ is latest exhibit at CSUSB’s Anthropology Museum

‘Voodoo: Ritual & Healing’ is latest exhibit at CSUSB’s Anthropology Museum.

The exhibit, curated by D. Paul Sweeney Jr., focuses on the divinities of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Brazilian religions, such as Vodou, Santería, Palo Monte, Candomblé, and other Creole faiths of the African Diaspora.

Brought as slaves to the Americas, West and Central Africans revived rich cultural and religious traditions that they concealed behind the imagery of the Roman Catholic Church, a process called syncretism or symbiosis. The religions emphasize shaping destiny through spiritual growth and herbal medicine, which symbolizes an essential connection to nature, as well as intricate musical performances.

“I strive to educate the public so that the objects shown in the exhibit, as well as the supporting visual material, will help dispel common misconceptions about Voodoo, Santeria, and related religions as being ‘superstition,’ ‘primitive,’ ‘backwards,’ or ‘satanic,’” Sweeney said. “Often maligned in films and television shows, the carefully selected videos, documentaries and movies will explain the origins, rituals and functions of these mysterious religions.”

An opening reception was held on June 5 at the museum. The exhibit closes in March 2015. Museum hours are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

For more information, call the anthropology department at (909) 537-5502.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.